Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Impediment To Action

In a sense, people are our proper occupation.  Our job is to do them good and put up with them.  But when they obstruct our proper tasks, they become irrelevant to us -- like sun, wind, and animals.  Our actions may be impeded by them, but there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions.  Because we can accommodate and adapt.  The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.  The impediment to action advances action.  What stands in the way becomes the way.

-- Marcus Aurelius Antoninus (121 - 180), Roman emperor from 161 to 180 and a Stoic philosopher, Meditations (c. 121–180 AD), Book V, 20  (Hays translation)

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